We are so excited to introduce Lauren Allen! She is the proud mama of an adorable little girl, an attorney, and an avid book lover. Sharing her passion for books with everyone she encounters! Read on to meet our fabulous Mama of the Month…..
Hey Mama! What is your name?
What do your kids call you?
Mommy and Camille also calls me Mama
How many kiddos do you have? What are their names and ages?
1 – Camille
Where are you from? Where do you currently live and how long have you lived there?
Kansas City. I currently live in KC and I have been back for 3 years.
What is your favorite thing to do in your city with your kids?
Explore. We really enjoy Wonderscope (Children’s Museum in Kansas City) and the Zoo
What is your funniest mama moment?
There are so many. Recently, was trying on pants and she started jumping and kicking, screaming hi-ya doing ninja moves, then exclaimed, “Mama, these are too tight, I can’t do my karate!” Apparently, karate is barometer for pants.
What is your favorite mama quote?
Being a pretty girl is nice but being a smart is cool
Make-up or bare face?
A little lip gloss and I’m good to go
Where is the most relaxing place you have ever been?
You mean other than my couch, when Camille is gone, the house is silent, and I feel like I died and went to heaven? Lol. Seriously, Turks and Caicos is probably the most relaxing place. I have, thankfully, been to quite a few countries in my life, but if you want somewhere to unwind, Turks is the place.
We all get the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce. But what would you do if you got a 25 hours day and everyone else still had 24? I know right mind blown…extra time.
With an extra hour, I should probably sleep. However, I would use that time to read and write.
How do you find time to balance working, taking care of a preschooler, and finding a little time for yourself?
It is all about proper planning. I set goals and I use checklists, daily. I have goals that I want to accomplish as Lauren the woman, as Lauren the Mom, and Lauren the career woman. By setting individual goals I can then make plans that will help me accomplish each. I also inform those around me of what my priorities are. My employer is aware that for me, family is first. Camille, is aware that Mommy has to work…sometimes a lot. I am aware that I need time to just be me. My friends and family also support me and understand that I may cancel plans or decline invitations if I need to focus on one of the above goals. Lastly, I cannot be a successful mom if it were not for my family literally stepping in every time I need them. They remind me weekly of why I returned to KC to raise Camille.
We believe that Mama’s make the Future. How have you helped to mold the future?
As parents, everyday that we show up for our children, we are molding the future. On a different note, I give back as much as I can. I give of my finances, my time, and other resources as I have it. I believe in civic and community engagement. Last year, I served as a big to a 7-year-old girl, I am on the board for KC Board of Trustees, I sit on the ACLU Legal Committee, and I am a member of Junior League. These things do not just enhance Lauren, but they move our city forward, and helps to propel those that I assist to move to the next level. I believe that working together, helping one another, is one way that we can make this world a better place. I am also a firm believer in prayer. I turn it all over to God and let him work it out
So we LOVE your Instagram Page @thedopelibrarian what was your inspiration for starting the page and what do you hope your followers take away from the content you post?
I love books. I played around with the idea of having an Instagram dedicated to other hobbies, but those interests are fleeting. Books have always been with me and always will be, so I decided to go with it. I hope that my followers see the many different genres that I post, Black authors, conversations, and realize that there is something in the book world for everyone. I want to change the person who says, “I don’t read because books just aren’t interesting” most times that person just hasn’t been exposed to a genre that interests them. I also want to create a space for book lovers to come and chat.
Obviously you LOVE books and sharing them with others, which is so cool! But, we want to know a few of your favorite books to read with your daughter?
My favorite is a story called Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, I also enjoy I am Enough by Grace Byers, and stories about Brer Rabbit, and Anasi the Spider. Lately, Camille has been gravitating to two books: Baby, Baby, Please and Camille, I love you So much (probably because of her name and our picture throughout).
So February is about love but it is also Black History Month. Do you have any favorite books about black culture?
I feel that any books read by black folks move our culture forward. The more we read the more we expand our knowledge base, our compassion for another and others, etc. My favorite books written by African-Americans and for African Americans are the following:
Favorite books for the Culture
- The Skin I’m In
- The Hate You Give
- Malcolm X
I’m sure there are others but these are my favorites.
What sparked your love for books?
My mom and grandma. They were and are avid readers. Watching them read constantly sparked a love of books for me. I pray daily that Camille picks up the habit
What books are you currently reading?
I am currently reading, The Sun does shine: How I found life and freedom on death row by Ray Hinton. I am also slated to read the following books in honor of Love for the month of February:
- If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin,
- The proposal by Jasmine Guillory
- All About Love by Bell Hooks
- When I’m With You by Donna Hill
I used to love reading growing up and I’ve kept some of my favorite books like the Bluest Eye and several children’s books that I cannot wait to read with my son! But I feel like I never have time to read anymore! What advice would you give a mama like me, who wants to read but can’t find the time.
How do you fit reading into your busy schedule?Reading is a priority of mine and like all priorities we make time for them. This sometimes means, I go to sleep late or wake up early in order to read. I keep a book with me just in case I find 5 minutes in my day to read. I set reading goals when I set my other yearly goals and then take the proper steps of planning and execution to reach those goals. You should set a small goal, maybe 2 books a year. Reading is form of self-care. while the babies are napping and the Dads are hanging out, instead of folding clothes or napping, take 30 minutes and escape into a new world with your book. It makes a huge difference, trust me.
How can we learn more about your mission to spread books across social media?
As of now, I have a web address, www.thedopelibrarian.com, but I have not started working on web content or hiring someone to build said website, one day soon. Until then, you can follow and engage with me on Instagram: @thedopelibrarian
If we have forgotten to ask you something, and you have information you want to share please place it here.
Reading is knowledge. Through books, you truly have the world at your fingertips. The more your read, the more compassion, and empathy you have as a person. I want to make reading a trend, make it cool, make it sexy.
As Always thank you for reading mama! We hope you enjoyed getting to know Lauren and that you check out her amazing Instagram account!! She is always posting something new and exciting! We will certainly be on the look out for her website to go live! If you or someone you know is interested in being featured Mamahood In A Nutshell please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org